It was back to the drawing board after the Proteas Women were beaten by 54 runs in the fifth and final T20, at Newlands.
They could muster just 112 in 18 overs while chasing the Indians’ offering of 166-4, based on a magnificent innings of 62 off 50 balls (8×4, 3x) by Mithali Raj.
The Proteas Women thus lost the series 3-1, with rain having cut short one promising match.
Dane van Niekerk was desperately hoping to square the series and give her team a base on which to build for the Women’s World T20 in the West Indies in November.
But the Proteas were on the back foot before the powerplay was over, in which they lost three wickets for 22 runs. They were never in it after that, despite a valiant effort from Chloe Tryon, who top-scored with 25 off 17 balls before she holed out in the deep.
The pace of Shikha Pandey and Rumeli Dhar decapitated the Proteas, taking the first five wickets for 44 runs in nine overs. There was no way back from that. If only Tryon and Marizanne Kapp (27 off 21) had a base from which to work from.
The India Women came out blazing from the start after being sent in to bat. Raj and Smriti Mandhana ran up 32 in four overs, when Kapp put the brakes on, having the latter caught when on 13. But that was as good as it got. Raj and Jemimah Rodrigues then put on 98 in 12 overs for the second wicket, taking the score to 130.
The fall of Raj, caught behind off Shabnim Ismail, was followed the next over by Rodrigues for 44 off 34, caught and bowled by Ayabonga Khaka, provided a glimmer of hope. Two new batswomen were at the crease, but the Proteas were unable to maintain the pressure.
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur (27 off 17) and Veda Krishnamurthy then smashed 32 off the last three overs, offering the Proteas a run-rate of a formidable 8.3.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images